By Dave Ricci
The Legends just keep playing with house money.
Brett Beetow scored four goals as Lancaster beat Section V’s Penfield 11-7 in the Class A Far West Regional title game.
It was part of a quadruple header that at All-High Stadium Saturday. The win marks the first Class A regional title for Section VI since 2008, and the first-ever regional title for Lancaster as it continued to defy the odds and prove the critics wrong.
“We just take that negative stuff everyone’s been saying about our program and turning it against them,” Beetow said. “Going into the game coach said, ‘We’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.’ … We’re just going out there playing our game and having fun.”
The Legends showed their mental toughness when the game was at its highest pressure point, when the Patriots tied the score 5-5 midway through the third. The Legends responded with six straight goals and didn’t fade when Penfield fought back with a couple of goals in the fourth.
“A lot of veteran leadership. The kids didn’t panic,” said Lancaster coach David Mazur.
After falling in the previous two sectional title games the Legends finally knocked off rival Orchard Park to claim their first ever sectional title.
“Once we slayed the dragon, Orchard Park, we said guys it’s all gravy from here,” Mazur said.
Ben Napieralski (hat trick) scored the opening goal of the game. Alex Reimer netted a pair of goals for the Legends.
Shaun Dolac had four second half goals and assisted on Nathan Walker’s game-winner as West Seneca East scored an 8-6 come-from-behind win against Geneva for its first ever Far West Regional championship.
Geneva built a 6-2 lead thanks in part to a pair of goals from Dugan Doeblin. Early on the Trojans had difficulty penetrating the Panthers’ zone defense. They remained confident that if they kept making adjustments and working hard sooner or later they would solve Geneva goalie Jake Drennan.
“That was one of the best zones I’ve ever seen. They’re so patient,” said Trojans coach Jimmy Maisano. “It came down to adjusting and letting Shaun be more physical and (Geneva) started to panic. Every goal they started to get more nervous and things started to open up.”
While Danny Flynn’s hat trick kick started the Trojans offense, the team agreed it was the play of goalie Damond Flynn who kept them in the game.
“I have no words to explain how good he was,” Shaun Dolac.
“I was thinking I’ll do whatever I can to get in front of the ball,” Flynn said.
The Legends (6:30 p.m.) and Trojans (4) advanced to Wednesday’s state semifinals at St. John Fisher College.
It was another classic as Austin Blumbergs’ game-winner came with 50.3 seconds left in OT to lead Section V Penn-Yan to a thrilling 12-11 win over Akron in the opening
Akron-Penn-Yan was a rematch of last year’s regional that saw the Tigers win in double overtime after tying the game with 1.1 seconds left in regulation.
Also, it was the fifth year in a row these two have faced each other in regionals.
Akron’s Kaleb Dalaney forced the extra session when he aggressively went to the net and popped in the tying goal with 17.2 seconds to play.
“We wanted to go out with a bang. It didn’t happen,” Akron senior Owen Hill said. “It sucks a lot. I won’t be able to play with these boys again.”
Penn-Yan jumped to a 2-0 lead, but Akron stormed back with six unanswered goals, including tallies by Nelson Logan and Hill 6 seconds apart. Donovan Nephew (four goals) used every bit of his 6-foot-3, 245 pound frame to finish off chances as Akron built it’s lead.
Penalties became the undoing for the Tigers as the Mustangs scored four man-up goals.
Akron coach Gary Sundown, disgusted by many of the calls, declined to speak post game. He did, however, remark that the officiating was awful and played too much of a factor in the final outcome.
Camden Hay had three goals as three-time defending state champion Victor posted a 15-3 win over Hamburg.
“They did battle to the end,” Hamburg coach Jerry Severino said. “When we were down (10-0) at halftime we said we just need to have your best effort this half. Just let them know that you’re there and compete. The word was compete. They did.”